NanoPlasmonics, Microphotonics & Imaging

Research that includes:

  • Polymer, printed optical lenslet arrays
  • Microfluidic tuneable photopolymer lenses
  • Optical switches and planar lightwave MEMS
  • Vertically integrated microconfocal arrays
  • Bio-inspired integration of tuneable polymer optics with imaging electronics

BPN960: Low-Loss Silicon Photonic MEMS Switches

Amirmahdi Honardoost
Johannes Henriksson
Kyungmok Kwon
Jianheng Luo
Jean-Etienne Tremblay
Mizuki Shirao

Our group has previously developed a new architecture suitable for building large-scale MEMS-based silicon photonics optical switches with fast response time. Switches with the scale of 240x240 were demonstrated using our new architecture consisting of an in-plane optical crossbar network with MEMS-actuated couplers implemented on a silicon photonics platform. Increasing the integration level up to 1000x1000 switches and beyond can result in a significant overall optical loss. In a new project we are aiming to develop low-loss switch units in order to address the aforementioned issue by...

BPN721: FMCW LiDAR for Distance and Velocity Detection with Large Range and High Resolution

Xiaosheng Zhang
Kyungmok Kwon

3D imaging sensors have applications that span several industries and markets, from industry metrology, robotic control to autonomous vehicles. Frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) light detection and ranging (LiDAR) systems provide high-resolution anti-interference distance and velocity measurements without fast electronics or high optical power but typically require expensive narrow-linewidth lasers with complex feedback circuits. Instead, we report on linearizing the laser chirp by using iterative learning pre-distortion of the laser drive waveform, thus reducing the need for...

BPN869: Efficient Waveguide-Coupling of Electrically Injected Optical Antenna-LED

Nicolas M. Andrade

Optical interconnects require fast and efficient electrically-injected nanoscale light sources that can be coupled efficiently to a low-loss photonic waveguide. The spontaneous emission rate can be increased by coupling the active region of a nanoscale emitter to an optical antenna, which would allow for modulation rates greater than 50 GHz. The aim of this project is to demonstrate high waveguide-coupled external quantum efficiency of an optical antenna to a single mode InP waveguide.

Project ended: 05/01/2021

BPN933: Ag@MIL-53 Core-Shell Nanostructures for SERS-Based Chemical Analysis

Aifei Pan
Yong Xia
Adrian K. Davey

A large number of poisonous chemicals, such as PFOA, PFOS, and mercury ions, are mandated to be controlled in drinking water with their permissible concentrations below parts-per-billion (ppb). In this context, an increase in the concentration is a necessary step preceding detection. Apart from their selective absorption ability, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have an extraordinarily large internal surface area, which can be used for extraction. In terms of detection methods, Raman spectroscopy is a powerful non-invasive chemical detection technology characterized by portability,...

BPN551: Large, Ordered 3D Nanocup Arrays for Plasmonic Applications

Joanne Lo

Here we present a novel method for fabricating large, ordered arrays of 3D nanocups for plasmonic applications. Previously, it has been demonstrated that nanocups provide a unique method for bending scattered light by creating “magnetic plasmon” responses in optical frequencies. However, creating large, ordered arrays of nanocups has remained a significant challenge. We constructed a large (0.5 cm X 1.0 cm), ordered array of nanocups via nanoimprint lithography (NIL), soft lithography, and shadow evaporation. This methodology enables high control over the shapes and optical...

BPN703: High-Speed nanoLED with Antenna Enhanced Light Emission

Seth A. Fortuna
Kevin Han
Nicolas M. Andrade

Traditional semiconductor light emitting diodes (LEDs) have low modulation speed because of long spontaneous emission lifetime. Spontaneous emission in semiconductors (and indeed most light emitters) is an inherently slow process owing to the size mismatch between the dipole length of the optical dipole oscillators responsible for light emission and the wavelength of the emitted light. More simply stated: semiconductors behave as a poor antenna for its own light emission. By coupling a semiconductor at the nanoscale to an external antenna, the spontaneous emission rate can be...

BPN472: Nanoplasmonic Light Emitting Devices for Ultra-Fast Modulation

Erwin K. Lau

Semiconductor nanocavities are of interest for their potential as threshold-less lasers and high-speed modulated sources. When cavity volumes are shrunk below the size of a cubic wavelength, the rate of spontaneous emission can be enhanced. This so-called Purcell enhancement has lead to the misconception that the modulation speed of nanocavity lasers can be significantly enhanced beyond that of their classical (large volume) counterparts. Here, by performing a detailed analysis, we show that the modulation bandwidth can, indeed, be increased by the Purcell effect, but that this...

RSM29: Micromirror Arrays for Adaptive Optics

Michael A. Helmbrecht

This project has demonstrated piston and tip/tilt actuation of an array of 500-750 µm-radius hexagonal mirrors with fill factors exceeding 98%. The mirrors will actuate above the substrate in a piston motion over a range of greater than 5 µm for astronomy applications and over 20 µm for vision science applications. Tip/tilt rotations of about a degree are also required. The frequency response must exceed 4 kHz for astronomy and 100 Hz for vision science. Finally, a scalable interconnect will be investigated that will connect from hundreds to thousands of mirror segments....

RSM34: Feedback Control and Electronics for Deformable Mirrors

Daniel Good

The goal of this project is to design control electronics for the deformable mirrors demonstrated by Michael Helmbrecht. The first part of the circuit design to be performed is control of a single mirror past its pull-in instability. This will extend the possible travel range for a given drive voltage, which is very important, as deformable mirrors benefit from extremely large travel range. The second circuit design goal is to design addressing circuitry to enable mirror scaling from a few actuators to the hundreds or thousands necessary for extreme adaptive optics.